REPORT: Border Security Strains Relations Between Texas and Mexico

36th Infantry Division, Texas National Guard Soldier on the Rio Grande River. U.S. Army Photo: Maj. Randall Stillinger
U.S. Army Photo: Maj. Randall Stillinger

A recent report by in the Dallas Morning News suggests that the historically strong ties between the State of Texas and Mexico may be under a considerable amount of strain. Despite the region’s powerhouse cross-border economy, recent decisions regarding illegal immigration and border security have left Mexico feeling rebuffed.

After last summer’s border immigration crisis in south Texas, former Governor Rick Perry deployed one thousand National Guard troops to the region, leading Mexican political leaders to regard the move as a militarization of the border. In February 2015, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a travel warning for Texan spring breakers planning to make parts of Mexico a holiday destination. This warning, as well as the fatal police shooting of an unarmed Mexican immigrant in Grapevine, were cited as additional sources of cross border tension.

Some analysts are concerned that these kinds of incidents, should they continue, might push some of the $7 billion in monthly cross-border revenue away from Texas and towards California. The Golden State is now offering driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and limiting the role of state law enforcement to pursuing only those suspected of serious crimes. Former Mexican ambassador to the US, Arturo Sarukhan, said during a recent talk to the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, “California has displaced Texas as the spark plug in the bilateral relationship between the United States and Mexico.”

Governor Greg Abbott expressed concern to the News about these developments. “All Texans should be concerned … because Mexico represents our No. 1 trading partner and a valuable source of foreign direct investment,” he said.

Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.